It was unseasonably cold for Southern California. Rain was on the horizon, and possibly even thunder. Were it not for a few sneaky signs that you’d have to know to watch for – the FiveFingers peeking out from jeans, the fact that no one was sitting, the faint whiff of ketosis lingering about – you’d never have known those huddled together at Oxnard Beach Park on a Thursday evening were there for a pre-event social mixer for something called “PrimalCon 2012.”
A bit bedraggled after a long drive up from the Bay Area and somewhat apprehensive of the attendees’ reaction to the weather, I approached the group. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they complain about the cold and the rain forecast for tomorrow? Would the infectious excitement from years past continue? I didn’t know the answer to those questions until heard the tell-tale laughter and spied more than a few bare feet, oblivious to the (for Southern California) cold. I saw a pile of sledgehammers and knew Timothy Williams  and his muttonchops were among us. I saw Billy Vives rocking the Chuck Taylors, chatting up a few attendees, and looking oddly naked without a kettlebell in his hand, and felt relieved. I saw Mark giving and getting two hugs a minute, with more waiting in the wings. Lots of people had yet to arrive, but above all, I noticed the smiles and laughter and camaraderie.
When three-time attendee Jared walked up, shook my hand with the sincerity and precision of a military man, asked me how I’d been, and made me instantly remember why I love my job at MDA – the community – I knew it would be a good weekend. Everything just crystallized for me. These are just good people united by a common interest in getting and staying healthy. You can’t really find fault with that. PrimalCon is the epicenter of that sentiment. It’s the manifestation of everything Mark talks about – that we talk about – on the blog and in the books.
It’s not just the grass-fed meat (although there’s going to be tons of that this weekend, and I plan on a whole lot of it making its way to my stomach) and the experts and the presenters (although they make the conference worth attending) that makes PrimalCon great. It’s the people.
Overall, this was a super chill way to kick off the weekend. Many attendees were still trickling into the area, getting settled with rental cars and hotels, and catching up on dearly-needed sleep before the next day’s 7:30 AM registration, but for those who showed, the mixer provided a way to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. I know I wandered around the group, saying hello to people from the previous year and chopping it up with new attendees.
Since Mark has his hands full this weekend, I’ll be your link to PrimalCon 2012. Stay tuned for daily coverage of the event, and stay tuned for today’s regularly scheduled Primal Blueprint Real Life Story. Grok on!